Norwegian IT services provider EDB Business Partner ASA is set to acquire Swedish IT consulting company Guide Konsult AB for SEK 658m ($84m).
Gothenburg-based Guide employs approximately 520 staff, and reported net profit of SEK 27.3m ($3.5m) on sales of SEK 522.9m ($66.5m) in 2005. The company provides consulting and applications services to clients in a range of vertical markets including the automobile industry, pharmaceuticals, the public sector, and financial services.
Private equity firm Nordic Capital Fond IV owns some 95% of Guide, with the remaining 5% of the company held by its employees.
The takeover of Guide represents EDB’s fifth acquisition so far in 2006. In January, the company picked up Swedish document management company Datarutin AB and two consultancy units, Avenir and Spring Consulting, from local rival Ementor ASA. The following month, Oslo-based EDB moved for local IT consultancy Software Technology Integration AS.
EDB said that once the purchase of Guide is completed, it will have 1,270 employees in Sweden, and sales in the country of approximately SEK 1.5bn ($190.7m). Despite this growth, EDB remains some distance behind market leaders WM-data AB and TietoEnator Corp, which both have annual sales in Sweden of over $600m.
Following the announcement of the deal, shares in EDB hit a 52-week high of NOK 56 in trading on the Oslo stock exchange.